Indigenous Food Sovereignty

By Christine Nobiss

Food Sovereignty. There is a need for it everywhere in the world. Access to healthy, clean and nutritious food. The ability to grow and choose what you eat based on where you are how you are raised. Traditions are a big part of food sovereignty. For Native Americans, food sovereignty is intricately tied to what we call "first foods".


First foods are the foods we gathered, hunted and grew before the colonization of our diet. We did not produce such foods as white flour, processed sugars and milk products. Our diets were balanced and nutritious and based off what the land around us provided. We also traded with other nations for their local offerings.


A Yakima Elder at the retreat teaches others about the history of huckleberries in his Nation's sacred territory. It's a time consuming process but mediative and healthy.

This week, I’ve had the privilege to attend the Yakima Nation’s annual Veterans retreat at the base of Mount Adams. It is a one week camp lead by Yakima elders to help vets and VA personal heal their trauma through native ways. One of the activities we did was to pick the sisters--the huckleberries--and present them to the kitchen for everyone to enjoy. The process to pick this first food must be done mindfully with a good heart and positive intentions. Below are some pictures from that good day.


Christine Nobiss